One maker stood out with her environment theme this year. Agatha Lee runs a blog “Green Issues by Agy” and shares way that each of us can do to make this world more sustainable. I have been a follower since end last year and have always been amazed at her creativity and ideas she shared generously. I still recalled the first few ideas which impressed me quite a bit – crocheting decorative bowls out of old, unwanted jeans, DIY Halloween dress-up kits for herself and her son, and the DIY waterproof school bag cover made out of old umbrella fabric! All are fantastic ideas, aren’t they?
We met at the Handmade Movement Craft Fair earlier this year, and I quickly introduced myself and invited Agatha to join the Faire this year. It turns out that she was very interested as well! Since then, I noticed that Agatha had been conducting workshops at many places and events, and they were usually different and refreshing. I was looking forward to check out her workshops at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this year. Check out my interview with Agatha below. It was my first face-to-face interview with a maker this year, and she has graciously invited me to her place.
How it started
Agatha shared that she mainly does refashioning, and it all started from the year 2005 when she was on her maternity leave and had more time at hand. She said that several pieces of her clothes were still in good condition (good fabric and nice pattern), so even though they might have been out of fashion, she did not throw them away. When asked about her first piece of refashion, she promptly went to retrieve a pretty blue jacket for me. On the jacket are two pretty flower designs, and she shared with me that those were cut out from an old scarf! What I learnt from her later was that the idea came about because of a burnt hole in the jacket that she need to cover! I think it is a marvellous move, rather than to waste a good jacket.
Besides refashioning, there are also several upcycling projects that Agatha did.
Check out the photo of this chair with a jean cover (left) and a short video clip of her introduction of a refashion item that she was making when I visit.
If you are interested to see the end result of the refashioned item in the clip, click here.
It seems like more and more people are using Pinterest as a source of inspiration. Agatha shared that she sometimes browse Pinterest too, though her inspiration also comes from window-shopping. Indeed, I get a lot of inspiration when I window-shop too. There are many good ideas on the street!
During our interview, I shared with Agatha how I had not embarked on any sewing projects because while I have a sewing machine, I do not have a permanent place for it. Hence, I envied those who have a permanent place for it. Contrary to what I thought, Agatha advised me that sewing with a machine might not really make it easier. She highlighted that there are also issues such as maintenance (the machine might spoil if it is not oiled regularly), or if the parts are not cleaned properly. In fact, she found hand sewing more straightforward at times!
If you are a fabric maker, what is your view and experience on this?
The blog and Facebook Page
Besides the refashioning and upcycling projects, I was also curious about the blog and asked Agatha on how she started that. It turns out that the blog was originally started by another friend and it was focused on environmental issues. She had taken over from the friend after that and began to share more on her refashioned items. I guess the blog took off because not many people in Singapore bother to refashion their clothes, and the blog gave people good ideas on simple ways to inject new life into their old clothes. This would appeal to ladies definitely. Now, it makes me wonder whether there are guys doing it. *wonder*
Agatha also mentioned that she was encouraged by her friend to start a Facebook page less than a year ago when she started to run her first workshop, and since then she has 300 plus following. However, she was curious how interested people are in refashioning, especially when the responses to workshops are inconsistent. But Agatha is persevering in conducting her upcycling and refashioning workshop. In fact, during this upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire, Agatha has decided that on top of two workshops that she will run, she will also do a presentation on refashioning! For more information on Agatha’s workshops and presentation, check out the information on our schedule pages on the pre-registration procedures!